Well after arriving in Santiago and mastering the art of getting from airport to hostel the next day we embarked on seeing the sights Santiago had to offer, which required us walking all around and taking pictures without looking obviously touritsy a feat we most certainly couldnt manage as even with out dark hairs we just cannot blend in! haha. Wandered around the city centre and market before ascending Santa Lucia for views over smoggy Santiago with views of the Andes in th background! After this afternoon we returned to hostel for a little rest before heading to San Cristobal in on of the scariest funicular liines ever!! No seats and just oone huge hill!! View again was ruined by how smoggy the city was! Heading back to hostel before dark we decided we would then go out for tea that night! oh what fun hahaha. Was a small "restuarant" across the road so we thought ok that looks local lets try! Well finally we managed in bad spanish to order two glasses of red wine and discovered that the restaurant doesnt sell food! Instead we had nice tasty cheese nibbbles. After finishing our wine we then headed down street to see if could find some proper food and came acrss a Peruvian restuarant )yes i know we`re in Chile haha) but they guy spoke english and we had a delicious meal of chicken, rice and potatoes along with more red wine! haha. After dinner we meet two Chilean girls Carmel knew from Laos and went for some Pisco Sour with them!
Next morning we hopped on the bus for a few hours to the coastal city of Valpariso. This had came hghly recommended and was one of Chile`s top 5 attractions, being labled its cultural capital. Immediately I did not see the appeal and the day followed muhc the same way. Yes the builidngs were pretty but not enough for this cultural title haha so left for Santiago feeling a little disappointed by Valpariso! That night we had another Chilean snak of Empandas which basclly consisted of anything that could be fouund stuffed into pastry not the best thing ive ever eaten haha.
On Thursday we headed off on a 24 hour bus journey from Santiago all the way north to San Pedro in the Atacama Desert! This initially was met with aprehension as 24 hours stuck on bus sounds like hell but actually on ettng ont he bus and seeing how comfortable it really was enede up looking forward to journey haha. the bus was super comfy and we got 3 meals albeit sandwichs but better than Asian buses haha and managed to get loads of sleep too so arrived in San Pedro not feeling great but a lot better than imagined! haha. Eventually found hostel via a detour around the town haha. Hostel was really busy so got chatting to people straight away as waited in room getting ready before trying to decide what we were wanting to do when here and where we were going after! That night we headed into town and got ourself some dinner before coming back and sitting around the fire!
The next morning we got up to try and organise bus into Peru but was a lot lik hard work so gave up and treated ourselves to a 3 course lunch yummmy before our trip to Los Ojos and the Slat Lagoons! The salt lagoon is similar to that of the Dead Sea where there is so much salt you autoomactically float however the water was so cold it took your breat away and felt like was burning skin so lasted all of about 30 seconds haha befroe geting dried off and warmed up with some red wine haha. After drying off we then made our way to Los Ojos and onto the Salt Flats to see the sunset and change the snowtopped Andes and sky to a deep red! This was all obsevered with more red wine and nibbles! Road back through desert was realy bumpy so were bouncing all over jeep haha. When back in San Pedro went and got some tea before enjoying the camp fire again as was soooooo cold!!
Sunday was another lazy morning as we decided to stay an extra day so were in no rush to do anything haha but did go sandboarding! Which was ridicously hard work to climb up the dunes!! Hence we only done it once haha am blaming the altitude nt lack of fitness haha. With half the Atacama stuck in our clothes we then headed to the viewpoint over Valey de la Luna (Luna Valley) to see the sunset with again more wine and nibbles! There wasnt as much clouds on sunday so was even colder and not as dramatic so on getting back to San Pedro a warm meal was def called for and it was delicious!! Again the night was spent relaxing and chatting with cups of tea around the fire!!
Leave San Pedro on Tuesday for Arequipa in Peru (hopefuly haha) which will be another long journey but hopefully just as comfortable as last one!